DISCLAIMER: The following story is a fictional account involving gay teenage boys. There are references to gay sex and mild descriptions of sexual acts, and anyone who is uncomfortable with this should obviously not be reading it. All characters are fictional and any resemblance to real people is purely coincidental. Although the story takes place in actual locations and establishments, the author takes full responsibility for all events described and these are not in any way meant to reflect the activities of real individuals nor corporate policies. The author retains full copyright of this story, and of stories based on these characters.

Please note that this is the twenty-third in a series of short stories known collectively as Naptown Tales. The series of stories can be found on my GayAuthors Page and on the Naptown Tales Page at Awesome Dude. Slightly modified versions of some of these stories that are suitable for younger teens can also be found on the Altimexis Page at Codey's World. Please see the Introduction for important background on the series.

Halloween Redemption

A Naptown Tale by Altimexis


"Watch it, faggot!" someone shouted at me, moments before I felt a body slam into me from the side, sending me sprawling to the floor. My bookbag went flying over my head and papers from a side pocket went flying all over the hallway. "Outta my way, Taylor," someone else shouted at me as they practically tripped over me, as if there were anything I could actually do about my current predicament.

"Zach, are you all right?" Steve Carlson asked as he happened by. Steve was a senior, and a friend from the GSA. Usually, most seniors didn't give us lowly freshmen the time of day, but life had been hell for me since I'd started at Carmel High.

Taking stock of the situation, I was a little banged up, but otherwise OK and so I replied, "Yeah, I'm fine, but thanks, Steve."

Kids started scrambling as the bell rang, signaling the start of second period. I was going to be late - again. My teachers were pretty understanding and cut me a lot of slack, but that didn't come close to making up for all the abuse I'd been putting up with ever since school had started three weeks earlier.

Hell, the abuse started even before that - ever since Valerie Snyder found out I was gay. It happened on the Fourth of July, when we were at a party in New York City, and ever since then, I'd been getting nothing but grief from my former friends.

It was as I started to pick up my things that I realized that my iPhone, which had been in my hands mere seconds before, was no longer in my hands. Looking around, I finally saw it, lying on the floor across the way where it had obviously flown into the lockers there. I landed hard, but I'd heal. Apple had already replaced my iPhone . . . twice. I have an AppleCare protection plan, but I'd been given a warning the last time - any more `accidents' and I was on my own. I'd bought a protective case for my iPhone after the last incident, but I'd had the iPhone out of the case for just a moment when someone decided to play tackle with me. Even from a distance, I could see that the touch screen was cracked.

"FUCK!" I shouted at no one in particular as I picked myself up off the floor.

Stuffing everything of mine I could retrieve back into my bookbag and slinging it over my shoulder, I ran to my Pre-calc class and took my usual seat in the front row. Yeah, I know, freshmen aren't supposed to be in Pre-calculus, but I'm in a gifted program and way ahead when it comes to math. I'm in AP and accelerated classes in just about everything else, too. In fact, the one saving grace is that I may be able to blow this joint in only 2 ½ years - otherwise, life would really suck. The sooner I can leave for college, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

It really bugs the hell out of me how everything's so fucked up for gays in the freshman class this year, and it's all because of that bitch, Valerie. For more than a year, she'd been trying to get me to ask her out, and I just wouldn't do it. I know some gay guys would jump at the chance to have a drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend as a cover, but I'm not the kind of guy to take advantage of someone like that. It just isn't me. If anything, the way she was all over me in New York disgusted me, especially the way she was so drunk.

But when she referred to Jeremy Kimball and David Reynolds as `faggots', well, that was the final straw. I'd gotten to know Jeremy and David not long after they became boyfriends, just as I was beginning to realize I was gay myself. I was only eleven at the time, but I've always been precocious, and my feelings toward boys have only grown since then. Jeremy and David were the first people I came out to - actually the only people I'd come out to up until then. Their friends, Trevor and Kurt, who were with them that weekend, were also a rather famous teenage gay couple, and very, very cool, but Val managed to insult them, too. Well, I decided then and there to come out, and there was no going back.

So now, because I'm gay, Valerie's made it her personal quest to make my life hell. Yeah, lucky me. Only because everyone's seen how miserable I am, no one else in the freshman class is willing to take a chance on coming out, which leaves me as the odd man out.

I feel sorry for the other gay freshmen at Carmel. Except for the occasional name-calling or a shove now and then, I have a life as an out and proud gay teen. Carmel has a very good GSA and I've become pretty active in it, setting up a presence for the GSA on Facebook and Twitter that's really sweet. Sure, it's true most teens think Twitter's for old folks in their twenties and thirties, but there's no faster way to get the word out when something important's going down.

I may be the only freshman member this year, but I have lots of friends - new friends - all of them sophomores and upperclassmen, and believe me, there's no end to the potential boyfriend material. Indeed, it's been a rare Saturday night I haven't been out on a date or out at a party, so Valerie's antics certainly haven't hurt my social life at all. If anything, she's enhanced it. I just hate to think of the other gay freshmen who live in fear.

I'm tall for my age - I'm still only thirteen - turning fourteen in another week, actually - and everyone says I have an exotic look, whatever that means. I've been told my green eyes and shoulder-length, light brown hair are sexy, but I know I'm not ready for sex or anything like that. I'm smart, but I definitely don't come off as a geek. Some guys have told me I'm really good at making out, and I sure enjoy it! In fact, it's become one of my favorite activities! Yeah, my weekends are cool - if only my weekdays didn't suck so much.

Mom and Dad have been wonderful about the whole thing. I haven't told them everything that's been going on, but it's been hard to keep it from them when I keep showing up at home with bruises on my body and even my face. They keep calling the school, and we've all met with the principal, the vice-principals, my guidance counselor and even some of my teachers. I have to admit that everyone's been great and they're really doing all they can to intervene, but it's hard to do anything when the perpetrators are too cowardly to show their faces. Without a direct confrontation, there's no proof of who's involved. 'Course I know who's doing it, but that's a far cry from provin' it.

"We could send you to North Central," my mother said one day while we were sitting around, grabbing dinner. Dad was late, as usual and my older brother, Collin, wasn't home from soccer practice, yet. "It would be a pain in the posterior to get you down there every day," she continued, "but you have a lot of friends there, and they don't seem to have a problem with homophobia the way we do up here."

Sighing, I replied, "As tempting as it would be to get away from everything that's happening here, it's really just one person that's doing this to me, Mom, and it would be a shame to change schools just because of her. Sooner or later, she's bound to get caught in one of her acts and then we can put her in her place and I can get on with my life. I have friends here, too, and it's not that Carmel's all that homophobic . . . any more than any other Midwestern suburb . . . it's just that Valerie Snyder has all the gay freshmen living in fear. Take her out of the picture, and things will be fine."

"I can only hope you're right, Zach," Mom said. "I'd just hate to see you go through four years of this. No one can handle something like that."

"For me, it won't be four years, no matter what," I reminded her. "At most three years, and prolly only two-and-a-half."

"Still, it's a lot to put up with," she continued.

"It can't continue forever," I countered. "Besides, I'd rather think of other things, like my birthday coming up."

"You always were one to change the subject when you didn't want to talk about something," Mom said, "but I'll let it slide this time," she agreed. "Last year was a big one . . . thirteen!"

"Unfortunately, most of my friends don't want to be seen anywhere near me any more," I said with a loud sigh, "so we're definitely not doing a big pool party sort of thing again this year anyway. 'Sides, it's already getting a bit cool this year, so maybe something indoors would be best, like a movie, or a concert or something."

"A little late to get tickets to a decent rock concert, don't you think?" Mom pointed out.

"Actually, I was thinking about the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra . . ." I was kidding, but the look on Mom's face was priceless. "NOT! Had you going there for a little bit, though, didn't I?" I said with a laugh that pretty soon had us both laughing. The funny thing was that I personally loved classical music and was a decent pianist myself, but a day at the symphony was definitely not the sort of thing most kids would enjoy for a birthday party.

"One of my friends from the GSA, Steve, knows of some really good Indie bands," I explained. "We could easily get tickets, even this late, to one of them for next week. It would make a sweet night for about a dozen of the guys and me if we go to a nice restaurant, too."

"Sounds like a pretty good plan," Mom agreed, "as long as there's no drugs."

Looking at her askance, I said, "Mom, that's just about the last thing any of us are interested in."

"I'm going to hold you to that," she said with a stern look on her face, and then a smile.

"I wouldn't have it any other way," I replied with my own smile. I knew she loved me, and it made me feel warm inside.

My birthday was on a Thursday, so by the time the following Saturday rolled around, I'd decided to invite fourteen of my closest gay friends. Of course, I had to invite Jeremy and David, my oldest and dearest friends, and I was fast becoming as close to Trevor and Kurt. At their suggestion, I also invited a couple of their friends, Billy and Rick, who were freshmen at their high school, and out. They were African American gay boys, and Billy was even on the football team. Rick, in contrast, was about as effeminate as any boy I'd ever met, but with the way he dressed and used makeup - he wasn't in drag or anything - he was really cool. I liked him on the spot. From Carmel, I invited Larry, Will, Steve, Brad, Tyrone, Eddy, Max and Chen.

At Steve's request, I invited his sister, Pauline, who brought along her boyfriend, Henry, both of whom were old friends of Jeremy. In fact, Henry was the guy Jeremy accidentally `felt up' in gym class in the eighth grade, effectively outing himself. Small world! Although Jer and Henry long ago patched things up, I could tell there was still a little tension between the two of them.

We ended up going to see a group called Benny's Benders, a local band that Jeremy said was very good. In fact, he said they'd played at his party a couple months earlier. They were playing in a club in Broad Ripple and, fortunately, it was an under age club, so there was no problem with us getting in. Benny's was a boy band consisting of five teenagers, all around sixteen or seventeen themselves. They played a mix of classic rock and their own creations and Jer was right - they were very good - and I'm pretty picky when it comes to my music.

During the show, we made no effort to hide our sexuality, and we even got up and danced as couples to the music. When they went on break, the members of the band came out and visited with us.

"I take it you're all `family'," Benny stated more than asked.

"All of us except for Henry and Pauline," Jeremy admitted.

"With a name like `Benny's Benders', we wondered about you guys when we auditioned you for our party, but we didn't think it relevant, so we didn't ask."

"A lot of people seem to think it does matter," Benny stated sadly, "But we're not about to hide it. We're all out and proud as well. We're in the Arts Magnet Program at Broad Ripple High School, by the way."

"That's cool," David said. "We're here celebrating Zach's fourteenth birthday. Zach and half the guys here go to Carmel."

"I didn't know they even let gay kids into Carmel," Benny snorted. "It's bad enough that the rest of you are from a suburban district, but at least you still live in the city."

"That's a sore point right now," I explained, and I then went on to tell about what had been going on at Carmel High.

"Oh man, that really sucks," Benny said. "I mean, things aren't perfect at Broad Ripple . . . not by a long shot . . . but at least gay kids can be themselves without living in fear."

"And since Reynolds' brother did his thing over the summer, life's been pretty good for gay teens throughout the city," one of the other members of the band chimed in.

"Yeah, Carl," Benny agreed. "Brad Reynolds really did something amazing all right. David," he continued, turning to my friend, "your brother really made life better for all of us, and he's not even gay!"

"No argument there," David agreed with obvious pride in his voice. "My brother's a special guy. If it hadn't been for Brad and that show of support he organized over the summer, God knows what might have happened in those ridiculous Congressional hearings. They might have actually gotten away with making those trumped up charges of running a prostitution ring from our dorm room, stick."

"But that whole thing was preposterous!" I said. "You and Jer were there as summer interns at the White House, and Trevor and Kurt were pages in the Senate . . . how the fuck could you have gotten away with it, especially with Kurt being the winner of a Congressional Gold Medal!"

"Well, that's what started the whole thing in the first place," one of the other band members chimed in. "Some idiot from Virginia who called in to Larry King Live, and a nosey tabloid reporter, took exception to the notion of a gay teen getting such a high honor . . . as if gay folks can't be heroes."

"But Brad sure pulled through for me and the guys," David said with a smile.

"And a lot of us went on that trip with him," Benny added. "I went."

"You already know I went," I threw in.

"Paulie wouldn't have given it to me for a week if I hadn't gone," Henry chimed in, and then he yelped when Pauline obviously kicked him under the table - those two were so funny!

"I don't think there's anyone here who didn't go," Steve added, and I noted that everyone was nodding in the affirmative.

"I hear Brad was elected President of the Eighth Grade in his middle school this year," Billy Matthews threw in.

"Pretty amazing," David said, "considering he never even ran for Student Council before, but he's become quite the activist, and popular. He's on the football team, too, and he's president of his school's new GSA, not to mention the fact that he's heading up the new Gay Youth Council for the whole damn city. I only hope he doesn't have a meltdown from all he's taken on, but he insists he's got everything under control."

"Just like his overachieving older brother," Jeremy said with a smile before he planted a kiss on his boyfriend's lips.

"Man, I wish I had what you guys have," I said as I kind of stared off into space.

"As hot as you are, Zach . . . you will," Jeremy stated. "Give it time . . . you just turned fourteen, after all . . ."

"Yeah, the same age you and David were when you became boyfriends," I pointed out, "and Billy and Rick were eleven when they became a couple."

"Whoa, I don't know of anyone that's been a couple since they were that young," Benny interrupted, "but Jeremy's right, Zach. You're definitely one of the best-looking guys around, and that's saying a lot when you've got guys as hot as David and Jeremy here. If I weren't hitched, I'd ask you out in a millisecond, our age difference notwithstanding. There's just something about your long hair, the shape of your face, the color of your eyes and your long eyelashes that oozes sex."

Man, I knew I was blushing bright red by then. Was I really that sexy? Before I could ponder the question, Max, a junior who was sitting right next to me, said, "He's also an incredible kisser." And then to prove his point, he turned and started making out with me, right in front of everyone else. It was embarrassing as hell, but a hell of a lot of fun at the same time. I just hoped I wouldn't need to stand up any time in the near future, as it gave me an incredible boner that was prolly not going down time soon.

"Do we all get a turn with the birthday boy?" Chen asked. "Man, that was hot, and I wouldn't mind doing what you just did."

"Personally, I think I'll pass," Henry stated with a laugh, but I was still fixated on what Chen had implied.

Chen was a sophomore, a friend, and a real nice guy, but for some reason we'd never been out on a date, and so I replied, "I don't have any plans this Friday if you want to get your turn then."

"You'd like to go out with me?" he asked, seeming to be amazed that I'd consider it.

"Sure I would, Chen. I invited you to my party, didn't I? You're a good friend and a lot of fun to be around. We could go out to a movie or something, make out a little, and who knows what," I said suggestively. He sure colored up when I said that, but although Chen was rather plain looking, he was a sweet boy and definitely boyfriend material as far as I was concerned. The way he blushed was so cute!

"We gotta think of a way to do something about Valerie Snyder," Trevor said. "We met her back when Zach came out," he recalled, "and she is one icy, scary girl."

"You don't know the half of it," Chen added. "She's totally terrorized the entire freshman class. It's no wonder no one else has come out. It was hard enough for me to come out last year, but if she'd been around, I'd have never done it. I'm just glad Zach's already out."

"I don't know who this Valerie chick is," Benny chimed in, "but you need to find a way to totally and thoroughly humiliate her in front of everyone. It's the only way. If you can destroy her reputation, not only will gay freshmen feel safe in coming out, but also, you'll all be vindicated. You'll be redeemed. You've gotta take this woman down."

"That's easy for you to say," Chen replied, "she has quite a following at Carmel High. I don't know how we'll humiliate her. What could we possibly do? She's already a total asshole. We'd have to make her look like a complete idiot and how the fuck do we do that?"

"She's a girl, and she's popular, right?" Benny stated more than asked. "Girls like that thrive on being the center of attention. She has to be the center of attention, so let her be the center of attention, and then pull the rug out from under her. Set her up in a very public way. Embarrass her in front of everyone so she can never show her face again."

"OK," I asked, "but how can we do that?"

"Is there a Halloween party coming up?" Benny asked.

"The Gay Youth Council is hosting a Halloween Ball downtown as a fundraiser," David said. "My brother managed to get the State Historical Society to donate the space. Brad's really quite the negotiator," he added with a chuckle.

"That's absolutely perfect," Benny said with glee.

"What do you mean, perfect," I replied. "Valerie would never go to that. A gay event is the last thing she would ever attend."

"Exactly," Benny exclaimed, "which is why it's perfect. What you need to do is to get someone who's on your side but whom Valerie has a crush on to ask her out to a Halloween Ball downtown. They just won't tell her it's a gay ball. It's open to straight people, too, after all, isn't it?"

"Of course it is," David replied. "We hope to have a majority of straight couples there, but that prolly won't happen," he lamented.

"Doesn't matter," Benny said. "The important thing is that you get Valerie there without her suspecting that it's a gay event. You may have to make special arrangements to sneak her in a back way, but once she's there, everything should fall into place . . . oh, please tell me it's a costume ball."

"Of course it is," Trevor answered."

"That makes it all the better," Benny explained. "With everyone in costume, it could take her half the night to figure out that half the couples are gay. In the meantime, be sure to get lots of pictures of her in attendance to circulate throughout your school. She'll never live it down."

"I think you're right," I agreed. "To anyone else, it would be funny, or a harmless prank, but to Valerie, the thought of spending the night in a room full of `fags' would be mortifying. She'd flip out. Who knows what she'd do. It is perfect.

"How is it you didn't know about the Ball, Benny?" I asked.

"We've been busy playing gigs," he answered with a shrug as David laughed.

"It's not too late to get your tickets," Tyrone threw in. "At eighty bucks a couple, or fifty stag, there aren't many other things you can do for less these days. 'Course the costumes will cost you . . . prolly a whole lot more than the Ball, but there isn't much else you can do on a Sunday evening."

"If you guys can pull this thing off with this Valerie chick," Benny replied, "You bet I'll be there. We'll all be there," he said as all five of the band members nodded their heads."

"But who could we get to ask Valerie to the Ball, especially with it being only three weeks away?" Kurt asked.

"Kevin Williams," I answered. "I'm not 100% sure, but I'm pretty sure he'll do it. Kevin's a good guy, but for some reason, Valerie's been mooning over him nearly as long as she was mooning over me. He's too good a guy to fall for her, which may be one of the reasons she's been trying to get him to go out with her. He's really popular, and stunningly handsome," I said, `and incredibly cute, but too bad he's straight,' I thought to myself. "If he'll do it, he'd be the perfect boy to take her to the Ball."

"Would you be willing to ask him to do it for us?" Kurt asked me.

"Yeah, I'll ask him," I answered. "Kevin's one of the few guys who hasn't been an asshole to me since school started. I'm pretty sure he'll at least listen to me."

And so we had a plan. First thing on Monday, I approached Kevin by his locker between first and second periods.

"Hey Kevin," I called out. "I need to talk to you, Man."

I could tell immediately that he looked a little nervous to be seen talking to me. I could only hope he'd give me a chance.

"Zach," he answered, "It's not that I don't want to talk to you . . . not at all . . . but there are consequences for being seen talking to you, you know?"

"Boy, do I know." I replied. "How would you like to be on the receiving end?" I asked in response."

"I wouldn't, which is what I'm tryin' to avoid. Could you just IM me, or call me or somethin'?" he asked.

"I think this needs to be done, face-to-face," I answered him.

"Tell you what," he said as he briefly placed his hand on my shoulder, sending a tingling sensation through my entire body. "Why don't you come over after school this afternoon. You still know where I live, right?"

"Sure," I replied.

"Good. I'll see you after school, then, 'K?"

"I'll be there," I assured him.

I was walking on air the rest of the day. I mean, we'd been friends since we were little kids and even though I knew he was straight-as-straight could be, it still would be nice to connect with him again, even if only briefly. Yeah, Kevin was a good guy, and I had a feeling he'd come through for me . . . for us.

Riding my bike up to his place felt like old times. I was eight years old again, and without a care in the world. That was before I knew what being gay was . . . well of course I knew what it was back then, but it was before I even thought I might be gay. Hell, I didn't even think about my sexuality at that age. Life was so much less complicated before sex, but it sure didn't last long. I was already starting to wonder why touching my dick felt so good, and by ten, I was already noticing boys, even if I didn't know why, yet.

"So what's this all about, Zach?" Kevin asked me before I'd even dismounted my bike. He was shirtless and barefoot, wearing nothing but skimpy nylon shorts. We were having a bit of a warm spell that day, but it was still only in the sixties and I didn't see how he could be comfortable. Still, he didn't seem to be in any hurry to go inside. His attire was certainly having an effect on me. Suddenly, I felt overdressed in my shorts and sweatshirt, and incredibly hot all over.

God, he was gorgeous. His body had matured nicely in the last year, filling out in all the right places and developing some nice muscle definition. He had piercing blue eyes and golden blond hair with a flawless complexion. His looks would be totally wasted on Valerie Snyder. She was so totally beneath him, it wasn't funny. He deserved better than her.

"Why don't you at least come inside?" he finally offered. "Would you like something to drink?" he asked once we were in his kitchen. "Coke, Sprite, water?"

"Water would be great," I said as I noticed just how uncomfortably warm the house was and how I was starting to sweat as a result.

He handed me a glass of water with some ice and a wedge of lime - an unexpectedly nice touch that I wouldn't expect from a teenager - then he threw me totally off-guard.

"You must be really overheated in that sweatshirt, Zach. You can take it off if you want," he said, and then added, "I won't mind." I could have sworn his cheeks colored up when he said that.

I wasn't sure which would be worse - leaving my sweatshirt on and sweating like a pig, and eventually smelling like one, or removing my sweatshirt and being so . . . exposed. Ultimately, I decided on the latter, and I pulled my sweatshirt over my head and draped it over one of the kitchen chairs. This time Kevin really did blush. What was that all about?

Kevin got a glass of water with lime for himself and said, "Let's head up to my room, and then you can ask me whatever it is you want."

As we headed up the stairs, Kevin in the lead, I couldn't help but notice what a nice ass he had. `If only he weren't straight,' I thought to myself, but that was only wishful thinking. I had to focus on the task at hand.

When we got to his room, I was struck by how much it looked like mine. There were posters of basketball players and boy bands. They were all of young guys in scant clothing. This was definitely not your typical straight boy's bedroom. No, this was not a straight boy's bedroom. No way a straight boy would hang these posters on his walls. No doubt about it, Kevin Williams was gay!

"So now you know why I'm so scared, Zach," he said. "If it weren't for Valerie Snyder and what she's done to you, I'd have come out at school by now. I'd planned to come out at the beginning of the year and to join the GSA. Dammit, Zach, I'd like to be able to date other gay boys like you in public, but if I did, I could lose everything. My friends would all turn away from me. I'd be an outcast."

Kevin sat down on his bed just as the tears started to flow. I pulled him into a hug and let him cry his eyes out on my shoulder. Once the tears subsided, I pulled away slightly and looked right into his eyes.

"It hasn't been all that bad, Kevin. Yeah, I've had to deal with a lot of name-calling and even physical abuse, but I've made a lot of new friends through the GSA, and I'm going out just about every weekend. I've even got a date this Friday night with a sophomore named Chen Ho. My social life hasn't suffered one bit.

"I'm not saying you should come out, Kevin, but if you are somehow outed, your life won't be nearly as bad as you think it might be.

"What we've come up with is a plan to deal with Valerie Snyder, once and for all, and that was the why I wanted to talk to you in the first place. I came to you because I knew you're a good guy and because I know Valerie has the hots for you. Honest, I had no idea you're gay, or I might have reconsidered, but now that I think about it, you might be willing to help us out of the Valerie threat. At the worst, you'll end up in the same boat as me, and like I said, it isn't all that bad. Now, if we succeed, you'll be able to come out and we could . . ." I blushed when I realized what I was about to say, "we could even be boyfriends . . . if that's what you want," I added.

"You being my boyfriend would be like my ultimate fantasy come true," Kevin said quietly as he himself turned beet red.

Then as if by magic, the space between us slowly vanished as we closed our eyes and leaned forward to kiss on the lips. Our kiss was tentative at first, but then deepened as I opened my mouth to let his tongue enter. I'd made out with several boys before, but this was different. Maybe the fact that we were both shirtless had something to do with it, but I think the major difference was that Kevin was special. He was someone I'd always liked and someone I cared deeply about.

We continued to make out with each other, caressing our faces and necks, with our hands roaming all over each other's bodies. At some point, we ended up horizontal and with our bodies in total contact with each other. I was hard as a rock and I could feel that Kevin was as well. As we kissed, we were rubbing against each other and I wasn't really thinking of the consequences until I felt a powerful tsunami build in my toes and work its way up my body, grab me by the balls and erupt with an explosive force I'd never felt before in my entire life. Sure, I'd been jerking off since eleven, but this was different.

When I finally came down from my high, I looked down to see that we'd both creamed our shorts. We looked up at each other, and started to laugh. We laughed as if what had just happened were the most hysterical thing ever.

"Kevin, not to make light of what just happened, but I think we just had sex," I said, and then I added in barely more than a whisper, "Believe it or not, it was my first time."

"Really?" Kevin asked. "With all those dates, I'd have thought you'd have had lots of experience by now."

"Other than making out, nothing even comes close to what just happened. I guess I was saving myself for someone special," I answered, "and I . . . I'm glad it was with you."

"I'm really glad I was your first . . . and that you were my first, too," Kevin agreed. "We'd better wash out our shorts before we end up with stains in them. I'll get you some fresh boxers to put on," he added.

We went to his bathroom and removed what little clothing we had on. Kevin quickly washed our shorts out and hung them up to dry, and then thoroughly washed and wrung out our boxers and hung them up as well. This left us both completely naked, and Kevin didn't seem to be in any hurry to get those boxers he'd promised.

"Shall we get back to what we were doing?" Kevin asked with a wicked grin. I wasn't exactly sure what he meant, but I was definitely interested in getting to know him a little better. My suspicions were confirmed when he added, "I've got some condoms if you'd like to try a few things."

We had a lot of fun up in Kevin's room that afternoon until his mother came home. I'd had many fantasies before then, but none of them came close to the reality of being with this sexy boy who meant so much to me. I think we were already beginning to fall in love -- at least I was. We certainly were feeling lust - that's for sure - but I really think it was the start of love. I'd still go out with Chen, since I keep my promises, but Kevin was gonna be my boyfriend - no doubt about it.

As I still hadn't discussed my plan with Kevin, he asked if I could stay for dinner and of course I accepted. A quick call home was all it took to confirm the arrangements for the evening - I just had to promise to finish my homework as soon as I got home. Kevin let me borrow some of his clothes to wear, or it would have been an interesting evening of nude dining with the 'rents.

I'd known Kevin's parents as long as I'd known Kevin, but it had been years since I'd spent any time with them. When I got Kevin alone before dinner, I asked him, "Kevin, do your parents know you're gay?"

"Are you kidding? With all the posters in my bedroom and the way I never talk about girls? . . . They haven't a clue," he said with a laugh.

"Do you think they'll have a problem with it?" I asked.

"Nah, I don't think so," he answered. "I don't really think that they think of their little boy as having interests in boys or girls, yet, but maybe I'm selling them short. I have a cousin who's gay, and they never treat him any different than anyone else, so it should be fine."

"There's a big difference between a nephew and a son," I pointed out.

Kevin didn't say anything to that. There wasn't really anything to say.

With Kevin's father's arrival, any chance for further private conversation evaporated for the time being. Before long, it was time to sit down for dinner.

"So how do you like high school, Zach?" Kevin's father asked, I suppose to make idle conversation.

Without going into any details, I said that I really enjoyed the classes and the teachers, and I'd made a lot of new friends. Unfortunately, Kevin felt compelled to add that I'd had to put up with a lot of bullying.

"That's terrible," his father said. "I would think you kids should be beyond that sort of thing by now."

"You would think so," Kevin agreed.

"Well at least a good looking boy like you, Zach," Kevin's mother chimed in, "I would think you would have the girls falling all over you."

I nearly choked on my pasta when she said that. How was I supposed to reply to that?

Kevin took the matter out of my hands by replying for me. "Oh, believe me, he does, even though they know it won't do them any good," he said with a smirk. "Zach's gay, and that's why he's been getting a lot of bullying. It's 'cause one girl in particular is upset she can't have him and she's made it a point to turn other kids against him, but even with all that, he's popular in the Gay-Straight Alliance."

What the fuck? Kevin was using me. He was taking advantage of my sexuality to gage his parent's reaction to homosexuality. What a sneaky, underhanded, brilliant thing to do. It was just the sort of thing I would've done under the circumstances. No wonder I loved the guy.

"Wow!" Kevin's dad said. "Forgive me for sounding naïve, Zach, but are you old enough to know you're gay?" What a great leading question.

"Actually, I've known I was gay since I was eleven," I answered, which drew a gasp from Kevin's mom and a startled look from his dad. Continuing, I said, "There's a couple of kids I met at my birthday party a few days ago . . . you may have heard of them, 'cause Billy Matthews is the quarterback of his freshman football team, but he and his boyfriend, Rick, have been boyfriends since the fifth grade. That's unusual. Most kids don't start to think about their sexuality until they're around my age . . . until they're thirteen or fourteen. In some cases, people don't realize they're gay until they're much older, like in their twenties or even later. Society has all of us so programmed to think we're heterosexual that some people don't realize they're not straight until they're in a relationship that isn't working."

"How do you know all of this, Zach?" Kevin's mom asked me.

"When I realized I liked boys," I explained, "I started doing some research on the Internet. I needed to know if what I felt was normal. There's a lot of information out there, and there's some very good sites for teens. I found that at eleven, what I felt could very well have been a phase. At that age, we all feel attractions to both sexes, but I felt pretty sure it wasn't, and a year later, my attraction to boys only grew stronger. I learned that around ten percent of us are gay, and it's perfectly normal to be that way."

"Well of course there's nothing wrong with being gay, Zach," Kevin's father said. "I have a gay nephew, and a close business associate at work is gay. I don't think even Kevin knows about that because it's completely a non-issue for me." I smiled on hearing that. "Are your parents OK with your being gay, though, Zach?" he asked.

"They've been great about it." I answered. I then related how I came out over the Fourth of July and how my father told me he and my mom would love the man of my dreams, just the same as they would have loved the woman of my dreams. My parents were awesome.

"Do you have a boyfriend, Zach?" Kevin's mom asked. What a loaded question!

Before I could even begin to formulate an answer, Kevin answered for me, "Yeah, he does, but it's a very recent development, and his boyfriend's not `out' yet, so their relationship's kind of under wraps for now."

"That must be very difficult, having a boyfriend who's in hiding," Kevin's father said.

"More than you know," I admitted.

"It's all because of that bitch, Valerie Snyder," Kevin cursed.

"Kevin!" his mother admonished.

"Hold on dear, maybe the title is apt," his father agreed. "From what you boys said, someone should take her down a few notches."

"That's actually why I came over in the first place," I said. "Some of my friends from the GSA and I came up with a plan, and I thought Kevin would be the perfect guy to help make it happen.

Turning toward Kevin, I said, "Kevin, the Gay Youth Council is holding a Halloween Ball at the State Historical Society downtown. Now you know a GSA ball is just about the last place Valerie would want to be seen, but it's a costume ball and once inside, it could take a while for her to figure out that it's a gay dance. Kevin, I know she's been trying to get you to go out with her for quite a while, just as she tried to get me to go out with her.

"What we'd like you to do is to take her out to the Ball. Tell her you've been invited to a charity ball downtown . . . just don't tell her it's the Gay Youth Ball. We'll make sure there's a way for you to enter where she won't see any signs for the event. Also, you need to be sure to wear costumes that don't conceal her identity. We need to be able to take photos of her to prove she was there. We especially want photos of her dancing with known community gay activists. It's something I'm sure you can make happen."

"That's a pretty mean thing to do to a young woman," Kevin's mother said.

"Ah, but a mean young woman who deserves everything she gets," Kevin's father countered.

"But you could be ruining her life," his mother countered.

"Sweetheart, I've known more than a few girls like this Valerie who grew up to be mean-spirited, vindictive women. They were never happy with their lives. If she's anything like those I've known, her life's pathetic as it is," he answered. "If anything, this might force her to reexamine the path she's on and change course. Fellas, teaching her a lesson now could be the most important thing you could ever do for her and, of course, for yourselves."

Kevin looked like he was gonna puke, but then he got this look of resolve on his face and he said, "All right, I'll do it. I'm sure I can lead her on for all it's worth and give her the evening of a lifetime. Yeah, I'll lead her right into your trap and we'll spring it closed. She'll never know what hit her."

I smiled, Kevin's father smiled, Kevin smiled, and his Mom -- she wasn't smiling as she stared at the tabletop barely shaking her head.

"Just remember that she's still a girl with feelings of her own, boys," Kevin's mom admonished us one last time. "Lead her into your trap if you must, but let her be the one to spring the trap shut." More than any others, those were words that stuck with us that night.

Chen turned out to be an amazing friend. When we saw each other at school the next day and he asked if Kevin agreed to take Valerie to the Ball. Maybe it was the smile on my face when I answered -- right away he knew something was up.

"You're entirely too happy. It's gotta be about more than Kevin agreeing to do it," he said. "Oh my God!" he went on. "Oh my God! Kevin's gay, isn't he? Hey . . . it's even more than that, though. You two did it. I can tell."

I must have blushed the deepest shade of red. It was pretty hard to deny it with the way I was reacting. Finally, once my heart rate began to slow down, I said, "Please, you can't tell anyone . . . not 'til after we take care of Valerie. Once she's out of the way, he'll come out."

"And then you can openly be boyfriends?" Chen asked.

The goofy grin on my face must have said it all, 'cause Chen went on to say, "You sure didn't waste any time. You still owe me a kiss, but I'll let you off the hook for our date this Friday night. I wouldn't do that to you when you have a boyfriend."

"Actually, I could use a date for the Halloween Ball, since my boyfriend will be taking Valerie Snyder," I mentioned.

"It'd be slightly better than going stag, I guess," he said with a laugh as I cuffed him. Yeah, I really liked Chen. He could have been my boyfriend, but the magic wasn't there the way it was with Kevin.

The weeks seemed endless, but finally, Halloween was upon us. We made special arrangements in advance to enter through the main entrance to the museum rather than through the event entrance, so that Valerie wouldn't see any of the signs associated with the Gay Youth Council. We had it planned out carefully, so it wouldn't look staged.

Kevin and Valerie would be driven by Kevin's dad in their Lexus RX hybrid. My brother, Collin, with a driver's license that was scarcely three months old, would be driving his girlfriend, Jen, and Chen and me in his pride and joy '03 Beemer. We'd follow Kevin's car surreptitiously at a safe distance. Tyrone, Larry, Will, Max and Brad would be waiting in Larry's parents' Escalade down by the reservoir along with Jeremy and David, who'd be in Jeremy's Boxter, and Trevor and Kurt, who'd be in Trevor's Jetta. Steve and his boyfriend, Eddie, along with Henry and Pauline would be waiting in Henry's RAV-4 on Ohio Street and pull up when the rest of us started arriving. We'd all arrive within about a minute of each other, so it would appear to Valerie that we were all supposed to enter through the museum entrance.

The only thing that might have raised suspicion with Valerie was that there was a preponderance of guys; however, Eddie, Tyrone, Will, Jeremy, Kurt and I were all in drag. To Valerie, it would look like nearly all the arriving guests were ordinary couples. Of course we were dressed as couples in costume.

I was dressed up as everybody's favorite ex-vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, and with my normally long hair, and after my first shave - ever - I really did look just like her. I spent a lot of time working on getting the voice just right, and by the time we drove up to the museum, I sounded just like her, too. There was no way Valerie would recognize me.

While my makeup job was pretty extensive, Chen's was worse - he was dressed as John McCain. Now Chen had a pretty full head of thick, black hair as is typical of most Asian boys, and most of it had to go. Poor Chen. No way I'd have been willing to have my hair cut that short, but then it took me years to grow my hair this long. The amount of powder it took to make his hair white left him sneezing the whole way downtown, and he was so caked with makeup to make his skin look wrinkled, it would probably take days for him to look normal again. Still, he took it all in stride. It was all in good fun, and for a very worthy cause.

In truth, everyone did a fantastic job with their costumes. There wasn't one person I recognized off the bat as the person they really were. Valerie wouldn't have any idea what was going down until it was too late. I could only hope that Kevin had done his part in making sure Valerie was still easily recognizable in her costume. In any case, I had the new iPhone 3GS my parents bought me to replace my old one at the ready, set to surreptitiously shoot photo after photo and video after video of Valerie mingling with all the `fags'. With 32 gigs, I had more than enough memory to store all those videos, too, and if I had a chance, I could always sneak away and upload those photos and videos, right then and there. Why wait until tomorrow to get started on our evil plans? I wouldn't be the only one taking photos, either. Jeremy had his iPhone at the ready, and there were a few others with mobile phones and other recording devices set to go. We were primed.

The State Historical Society headquarters, museum and library were housed in a truly elegant building. Although the building had the appearance of being a grand old structure, it was readily apparent once inside that the building was a modern structure, merely built with a façade to mimic the elegance of the more historic structures that surrounded it. Ironically, the building sat where derelict warehouses used to be along the Central Canal, and so nearly all of the buildings along the canal itself were new.

The place was nicely detailed inside, with all the usual Halloween decorations for good measure. It was a very proper setting for an elegant night on the town. There was a live band, too, and it was none other than Benny's Benders. Those stinkers! They knew about the Ball all along and were just pulling our legs. However, I couldn't think of a better band for the event. They could play hard rock, soft rock, classics and new stuff with the best of them. Their forte was classic rock, though, and I had a feeling they'd really set the mood for Halloween. I also suspected they'd be helping us with our little ruse. Yes, everything was all set.

I'd lost sight of Valerie after we entered, but it didn't take long for me to find her and - Oh My God -she was dressed as Sarah Palin, too, only she didn't look anything like the real Sarah Palin. Whereas I at least made an effort, wearing glasses, wearing my hair tied up in a bun, even sporting a mole in the right place on my cheek, Valerie looked like Valerie in Sarah Palin's clothes. She'd barely even tinted her hair. When she saw me, it was obvious she didn't know who I was, but she took an immediate dislike to me, 'cause my costume was clearly more convincing than hers.

It took all my willpower not to run up and kiss her date. Kevin was dressed as Sarah Palin's husband, and even with the fake beard and messed up hair, he looked stunningly handsome. I cringed when I saw them dancing together, but then I knew it would only be a matter of time before we would catch her dancing with some of the city's most infamous gay boys, and then the real fun would begin.

It was during the first slow dance of the evening, when I was dancing with Chen, that I saw David cut in and start dancing with her. Yeah, this was perfect. David was dressed up as a passable Johnny Depp, although more handsome by far, and Jeremy was a dead ringer for Mariah Carey. I pulled out my iPhone and got as many stills and some video of David and Valerie dancing as I could without it being obvious. In the meantime, Kevin took advantage of the situation to cut in on me, and we enjoyed a sensuous, slow dance together. It was wonderful.

Over the course of the evening, we managed to photograph Valerie dancing with several of the city's best-known gay teens again and again without her even realizing it. I couldn't believe she still hadn't figured out the true nature of the Ball by the time we were halfway into it, but she seemed to be having a good time. Perhaps it was because so many boys were asking her to dance.

Maybe the fantasy that was coming true for her was overriding her sense of reality. If she'd only taken the time to pay attention, she would've noticed the `girls' that were entering the Men's rooms. She'd have noticed that there were boys dancing with boys and girls dancing with girls, but she was totally oblivious to all the clues that were around her because of all the boys that were asking her to dance with them.

When Brad Reynolds, dressed as our city's mayor, got up in front of the band, I had a feeling Valerie's fantasy was about to come to an end.

"Wow!" he said. "Isn't this amazing?" A loud cheer went up from the crowd that was gathered around the room. "There are more than eight hundred people here! Can you believe it?" Another loud cheer went up from the crowd.

"When I started out in the summer with a dream," Brad continued, "a dream of starting a series of gay-straight alliances in the middle schools of my district, I knew I faced a challenge, but my family and friends believed in me. And when my brother and his friends were falsely accused of running a prostitution ring in Washington, the response from the community was overwhelming. I thought I'd get maybe a busload of kids to go with me as a show of support, but we showed 'em, didn't we?" This time, the cheer was deafening.

"We packed fifteen buses with kids and a few of their parents, and we showed the ad hoc joint ethics committee, and they ended up tucking their tails between their legs and running.

"When we returned home, not only were there more than enough kids willing to help start those GSAs, but there were a lot of kids in other school districts throughout the city and suburbs who wanted to do more to help gay youth, and so the concept of a city-wide Gay Youth Council was born. Tonight you are seeing the result of that endeavor.

"They say this is the Midwest, the Bible Belt, the land of intolerance, but we're here to prove them wrong. Why should the Bible be associated with intolerance, anyway? The Bible is all about God's love.

"With us tonight is Kurt DeWitt, recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor in the land, and although he's just days shy of his sixteenth birthday, he is truly a Biblical scholar in his own right. Kurt has agreed to lead us in a non-denominational invocation for this truly historic event."

As Kurt, still in drag, approached the microphone, I pondered why Valerie hadn't yet reacted to the events unfolding before her eyes. She was sitting quietly at a table with Kevin, behaving as if all of this were perfectly normal. Did she not understand that this was a gay event? I expected she'd be totally freaking out by now.

"Dear father," Kurt began, "You go by many names. To some, you are the one and only God, and to others, you are a plurality of gods. To some, you are our father, and to others our mother, and to some even today, your very existence is in question, as perhaps it should be. Never should we accept faith without question, and never should we accept a world without faith . . . faith that we must build a better future for our children. Whether or not we believe in a creator, and I do, God has left it up to us to finish his work. It is up to us to make the world what we want it to be, and if it is not yet the messianic dream predicted in the Torah . . . in the law handed to Moses at Mount Sinai . . . that is only because we have not allowed it to be.

"So long as we preach hatred instead of love, and claim that it's God's will, there will be no peace, there will be no freedom, and there will be no prosperity. It is up to all of us in this room today to change all of that. We know that love is never wrong. We are truly God's messengers. When the rest of the world can learn to accept His message, things will start to change, peace will come, freedom will come, prosperity will come, and the dawn of the messianic age will truly become a reality. Amen."

There was a thunderous "Amen" from everyone in the room, followed by a standing ovation for Kurt. His prayer was absolutely awesome.

It was then that I noticed that Valerie was still sitting in her place, but that Kevin had his arm around her shoulder. She was kind of slumped over, and he seemed to be comforting her. What the fuck?

As soon as the music started up again and couples started dancing, I went over to her table to see what the hell was up. It was when I get closer that I could see she was crying. Man, I wasn't expecting that. I thought she might scream at us, or lash out at everyone, but just about the last thing I expected was for her to break down and cry. But what was my boyfriend doing comforting her? If she was crying at what we'd put her through, fine. She deserved every bit of it.

When I got close enough for her to notice me, she stood up, and looked me long and hard directly into my eyes until a look of recognition crossed her face.

"Oh my God, Zach. It's no wonder I didn't recognize you, but even with those silly glasses, your eyes are a dead giveaway. There's no disguising those beautiful eyes of yours."

What happened next was something I never in a million years would have predicted - she pulled me into a tight hug. "I'm so sorry about the way I've treated you since you came out, Zach. I was just raised to think such horrible things about gay people . . . to think of them as the devil incarnate. I could never understand why you chose to be gay rather than to be my boyfriend. It never made sense to me, why you would associate with known sinners.

"During the last few months, things really got out of hand. I knew that, even as I continued to push people to hurt you . . . to hate you. I wanted to find a way to end what I was doing, but I didn't know how, and then Kevin Williams asked me to the Gay Youth Council Ball."

Laughing, as she dabbed tears from her cheeks, she said, "Yes, I knew from the beginning that this was a gay ball, although your efforts to hide it from me were really pretty amazing. How could I not know? This ball has had major publicity for weeks now, and then Kevin asked me to a charity ball downtown on Halloween? How many other charity balls are there going on this weekend for teenagers? I pretty much expected this was where we were headed, and when we pulled up in front of the Historical Society, I knew I was right.

"Going to the trouble of dressing up in drag was above and beyond the call . . . well maybe not for some gay boys, but for most of you, it's no easier than for a straight boy, now, is it?"

I had to laugh at that as I said, "You have no idea."

"You all went to a lot of trouble to try to discredit me," she continued, and I deserved it, I know."

I was dumbfounded at that statement. "But if you knew," I asked, "why'd you go ahead with it?"

"I had this naïve idea that I was going to show all of you all what I was really made of. Although I wanted to stop the harassment at school, I wasn't about to let you guys make fun of me in front of everyone, so I was going to trump your plan. I was gonna call your bluff and denounce your perversion in front of everyone. Trouble was, I thought the ball would attract maybe one or two hundred kids at most. I had no idea it would be this big. How could I stand up and denounce all of you in front of so many people. I'd look like an idiot."

"That was the idea," Kevin noted.

"Well, I just didn't fathom that there'd be so much energy in this place . . . and . . . and so much love.

"Tonight I saw things . . ." she said as she started to cry again. "I saw boys holding hands with each other and hugging, and even kissing openly, and girls, too. There was no feeling of shame in what they were doing. What they did seemed so natural. In this place, everywhere I looked, people were being themselves. People were having a good time, and they were being with the people they wanted to be with, just being the way they wanted to be. There were no orgies or satanic rituals or any of the sorts of things I'd been led to believe gay people did. These are ordinary teenage gay kids having a good time, just the same as ordinary teenage straight kids would be.

"When Kurt DeWitt gave that prayer, it really focused my thoughts, and I realized that everything I'd ever been taught about God and religion was wrong. What he said is true . . . love is never wrong. God does not teach hate."

With a look of determination I'd never seen in Valerie's eyes before, she squared her shoulders and said, "Zach, I'm going to make it up to you. Mark my words, I'm going to find a way to make things right, starting here . . . starting now. From now on, I'm going to be your best friend at school, and everyone's gonna know it. I'm going to make sure that the name calling stops and I'll make sure that anyone who tries to strong-arm you gets caught. I'll even try to help you find a boyfriend," she concluded.

"Valerie, first of all, why should I believe you?" I asked, "and second of all, I already have a boyfriend."

"Well, Zach, as they say, actions speak louder than words," she replied. "You'll just have to see what happens over the next few weeks and then, maybe you'll believe me. I am gonna join the GSA, though. It's the least I can do.

"So tell me about this boyfriend of yours," she said.

"Sorry, but he`s not out, yet, thanks to you, and I'm not sure I can trust you just yet," I lamented.

"Fair enough," she said, backing down.

"Actually," Kevin jumped in, "I've told quite a few people tonight, so I'm not really in the closet any longer, Zach. It's prolly better she hear it from us than from a stranger, don't you think?"

Valerie started laughing hysterically and asked aloud of no one in particular, "God! Why is it I always fall for the gay ones?" Then continued by asking, "You do realize your costumes still match, don't you?"

"They do don't they?" I suddenly realized, as I looked my boyfriend in the eyes. I had a sudden urge to kiss him and did exactly that, right in front of Valerie. I didn't even notice the camera flash going off, and had no idea someone had taken our picture until I saw it the following morning on the front page of The Star. There we were, plain as day . . . me in drag as Sarah Palin, Kevin as my husband, and Valerie in the background, also as Sarah Palin and with a smile on her face.

It turned out that Kevin didn't need to come out to his parents, nor did we need to tell them we were boyfriends. The picture on the front page of the paper of us kissing with our names in the caption would have been a dead giveaway, had they not already figured it out. Our dinner conversation had already gotten them to thinking about their own son, and when they took notice of the posters in his room and of all the time we were spending together before the dance, the conclusion became pretty obvious.

It was pretty funny, though. We came back from the Ball and I joined Kevin afterwards at his house to give him a little moral support for his planned coming out. 'Course the paper wasn't out yet, then.

Things started out with Kevin's parents asking how things went, and how Valerie took it when she figured out she was at a gay costume ball. Kevin filled them in and they seemed to be real pleased that she took it so well, but I cautioned that I wouldn't believe she'd really changed until I saw evidence of it in the weeks ahead.

What happened next totally blew us away. Kevin's dad asked us, "So, boys, did you have a good time? Did you enjoy dancing with all the boys?" Of course the question was appropriate for me as an `out' gay boy, but poor Kevin was taken aback by his father's question and he sure colored up in a hurry, and then his face went through a series of contortions before his father decided to crystallize his thoughts by saying with a smile, "Did you get a chance to dance with each other as boyfriends?"

I got a huge `Cheshire cat' grin on my face while Kev appeared to be truly astonished before he finally got a look on his face that could only be called one of relief. Finally, he said as much as asked, "You knew?"

"Over the past few weeks, it's become pretty obvious," his father answered, "and your mother and I think it's great you have a boyfriend like Zach. The two of you make a cute couple."

Laughing, he added, "I suppose you realize your costumes match."

"That's what Valerie pointed out to us," I replied with a giggle.

"Does this mean Zach can spend the night?" Kevin asked, hopefully. Wow! Where did he get the balls to ask that question?

"Sure he can," Kevin's mother answered, "Just as we would allow a girlfriend to spend the night, in the guestroom, with the understanding that there will be no secret rendezvous during the night, or the two of you will be grounded for a month. And of course you'll need permission from your parents, Zach."

So much for that idea.

Things did indeed get better at school after that. Valerie made good on her promise to join the GSA and she went out of her way to be nice to me. Several kids who continued to torment me discovered rather quickly that Valerie was no friend of theirs, and were quickly brought to Valerie's level of justice.

Kevin and I became a regular item around Carmel High and were often seen in the hallways holding hands, and occasionally sneaking a quick kiss between classes, in spite of the school's policy on public displays of affection. Buoyed by our acceptance, several other freshman boys and girls also chose to come out and by Christmastime, there were four other couples and five kids who were still looking.

Yeah, the next generation of gay youth was alive and well. We had been redeemed and oddly enough, so had Valerie.

The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope in editing and Alastair in proofreading my stories, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Codey's World for hosting them.

Visit My Forum
Visit My Blog
Read My
Other Tales
Go to My Home Page